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A Reflection on my Five Years of University

I am waiting at my bus stop in the pouring rain, gazing aimlessly into the cloudy sky. I can feel all the weight in my bag and I curse at myself for always over packing for the first day back at university. In just a few short weeks my now heavy bag will contain a barley used notebook, a pen, and if I remember my umbrella. It’s almost scare have fast the semesters fly. The beginning always seems so daunting, I always wonder how I will ever make it through. With all the exams, papers, tutorials and then on top of that working a part time job and trying to maintain my sanity. Yet, somehow after the 4 months I’m always perplexed as to how fast the semester seemed to fly by. This semester, however, will not be like the others, this is my last semester of university. I never thought there would be an end to my post secondary education. I mean I always knew that one-day school would come to an end, it’s just hard to grasp the concept of finally graduating. I feel as though most of my life has led to this moment. I hated my time in high school. I was kind of a loner in school, I didn’t really fit in and I had hard time making friends. I could not wait to get out of high school and finally live it up in university. I couldn’t wait to go to all the frat parties, have random crazy nights that would one day be worthy enough to turn into movies and most importantly meet lots of cute boys.

After 5 years I can tell you I experienced none of that. I don’t think I have ever been to a frat party, the only crazy nights I have ever had are trying to cramp a semester of studying into one night and haven’t met any cute boys since I stayed with my (now ex) boyfriend the entire time I was at university (but who knows I still have a semester left).  No university was not at all how I expected. I spent two years out of the five, trying to decide my major. I’ve taken so many random classes from political science to earth science to anthropology. I finally decided to pursue communications after taking 210 (by far my favorite class to date). I fell into communications by accident and fell in love, I spent the next three years finishing my degree, working multiple part time jobs, breaking up and getting back together with my boyfriend and trying to find myself. Honestly most of the five years are just a blur, I remember a lot of stress, lots of papers, and way too many all nighters I care to admit to. Stepping into my final semester, I’m more nervous than I have ever been because I really don’t feel ready. I don’t feel ready to leave. I never found school hard, I always had the ability to fairly well without applying too much effort (I thank my good memory for that). I never really felt challenged or felt like I overcame anything during my time here, until I miserably failed my first co-op.

I thought by now after the last five years I would grow into an independent, confident young lady. I thought I would have my life figured out by now, and I assumed by now I would have moved out my parent’s house. Reflecting back, I wonder if 18-year-old me would be disappointed in the 23 year old me. I didn’t set out to do nearly half of what I imagined to do. I didn’t take any risks, I didn’t get that “life changing experience” at university and I did not grow up like I thought I would.

The one thing I wish I would have accepted transiting form high school to university, is that change is good. I realised I stayed in a bubble the last five years. Same friends, same boyfriend, same jobs, same everything. The only thing that really changed was my sleeping pattern. I expected so much change but was unwilling to change myself. All these plans and expectation I had, none of them really came true. It wasn’t until last year that university began to change for me. I had finally made a solid group of friends, I was finally able to let go of my toxic relationship and I was willing to finally step out of my comfort zone. I took a few risks just because I was tired of nothing ever changing. I wanted to be better for myself. That’s the thing about university, you make the experience that you want to have. I am very sheltered person, I like safety and predictability and that has what my university experience has reflected. Sheltered, safe and predictable.   

Looking back there is so much I could have done, there were so many opportunities I had that I was just to afraid to go for, but at the end of the day I am proud of what I was able to accomplish. I spent 5 years of my life earning my degree, I managed to save enough money to afford a well deserved post grad trip and above everything else, I am growing to love the person I am now, even if I don’t live up to my own ridiculously high expectations.  I am grateful for my university experience because it has taught more about life and myself that I ever could have hoped to know.

I now know the kind of person I want to be and the life I want to live but I don’t have the same naïve outlook on life. I now know I can’t keep protecting myself from the enviable heartbreaks and failures coming my way as I close the chapter on university and open up a new chapter on my life story.

 

Amneet is a 4th year communications student at Simon Fraser University. Born and raised in the city of Surrey, she loves the sound of rain, in fact she listens to rain sounds every night to help her sleep. Her favorite past times include: reading, binge watching Netflix shows and perfecting the art of sarcasm. You can get to know her more by following her Instagram: amku2500.
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